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All rights reserved on ALL content, including photographs and text. THIS MATERIAL IS FOR THE SOLE USE OF SETDECOR MAGAZINE and the SDSA. Reproduction or use of the material in any way or by any means for any purpose without permission from the Set Decorators Society of America is strictly prohibited.


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JUDY MOODY & THE NOT BUMMER SUMMER

JUDY MOODY AND THE NOT BUMMER SUMMER
Set Decorator Don Diers SDSA
Production Designer Cynthia Charette
Relativity





Determined to resurrect a potentially terrible summer, the irrepressible Judy Moody [Jordana Beatty] plunges into crafts and adventures, dragging along her pesky little brother, Stink [Parris Mosteller]. The ordinary becomes exciting, when their magical, globe-traveling Aunt Opal [Heather Graham] brings a daring sense of artistry and imagination into their world, in the film version of the bestselling book JUDY MOODY AND THE NOT BUMMER SUMMER.

 

Staying true to the spirit of the beloved series of books, Set Decorator Don Diers SDSA, Production Designer Cynthia Charette and their teams set about to convey both the range and accessibility of the imagination in our everyday world. They describe their process, offer insights and give details about the resources for this delightful family film…

 

 sites/setdecorators/articles/JM_1_Livingroom.jpg


Photo by Ken Haber. ©2011 All Rights Reserved. Not for duplication or resale.

 

Moody Living Room  

 “Cynthia and I had the wonderful opportunity to flesh out the colorful characters from the very popular JUDY MOODY children's books written by Megan McDonald and illustrated in black & white by Peter H. Reynolds,” says Diers. “This movie was a labor of love that walks a fine line between real world action and cartoon illustrations. We wanted it to feel like the images from the book, but with a sense of realism that made the characters come to life. Our initial inspiration for the look of the film was literally drawn from Reynolds’ simple but expressive illustrations—though they may be seen as 'simple' pen & ink drawings, they are full of character, motion and whimsy.”

 

· Wallpaper: Designed by Charette, created by Astek Wallcovering

· Sofa: St. Vincent de Paul, upholstered by NBC Universal Property, green mohair fabric from Home Fabrics

· Lamps: Home Goods, Target

· Coffee table: Pottery Barn

· Wing chair: Sofa U Love, upholstered by NBC Universal Property

· Slipper chair: thrift store, upholstered by NBC Universal Property

· Rug & runner: S&J Biren 

· Artwork: Hollywood Studio Gallery, Hollywood Cinema Arts, Dina Art, NBC Universal Sign Shop

· Frames for stairway art: Wertz Brothers Furniture Inc.

 

sites/setdecorators/articles/JM_2_LR_detail.jpg

Photo by Ken Haber. ©2011 All Rights Reserved. Not for duplication or resale.

 

Moody Living Room - detail  

“Finding out there was going to be a movie was an over-the-moon moment for me,” says Author Megan McDonald. “But it didn’t feel real until I actually walked onto the set. They spent countless hours bringing the tiniest things from the books to life.”

 

· Wallpaper: Designed by Charette, created by Astek Wallcovering

· Grandfather clock: Great Indoors, pinstriped & enhanced by JUDY MOODY Paint Dept

· Secretary: Wertz Brothers Antique Mall, enhanced by JUDY MOODY Paint Dept

 sites/setdecorators/articles/JM_3_BR_bed.jpg

Photo by Ken Haber. ©2011 All Rights Reserved. Not for duplication or resale.

Judy Moody’s Bedroom 

“One motif occurring in all the books is a curlicue,” Diers notes. “It is a signature piece of Judy Moody's mop-like hair, a single curl located on the top of her head. So for her bedroom, we manufactured a carpet and wallpaper with a curl in the pattern. But we didn’t stop there – keep your eyes peeled for many more curls hidden in the set dressing throughout the film!”

 

· Wallpaper: Designed by Charette, created by Astek Wallcovering

· Rug: S&J Biren, curlicue design printed by Astek Wallcovering

· Bunk bed, desk & nightstand: Newport Cottages, enhanced by JUDY MOODY Paint Dept

· Desk chair: Pottery Barn, enhanced by JUDY MOODY Paint Dept

· Drapes: Fabric by Pindler & Pindler

· Sheers, curlicue design: F&S Fabrics

· Bed linens: Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn Kids

· Lamps: Target , Home Goods

· Small scale desk lamp: Omega Cinema Props

· Piggy bank: Banks, Banks, Banks

· Stuffed animals: Uncle Jer’s and shops in the Los Angeles Toy District

· Art: Nest, Hollywood Cinema Arts

· Posters: Universal Sign Shop

· Custom “Grouchy Pencils”: ISS graphics

 sites/setdecorators/articles/JM_4_BR_corner.jpg

Photo by Ken Haber. ©2011 All Rights Reserved. Not for duplication or resale.

Judy Moody’s Bedroom

 “We used color to help tell the story,” Charette explains. “I wanted it to feel like we are in a storybook. One of the underlying concepts was playing with scale. As in the illustrations, the piggy bank is very large and the lamp is very small.”  Diers adds, “Judy’s collections of used chewing gum and erasers, her popsicle-stick cabin, the Giraffe Award won for her environmental fund-raising, her armadillo diorama and other details from all the books were incorporated as part of the set dressing in her room. Each of her craft projects was carefully constructed by my team for the overall handmade look the film needed.” 

 

· Wallpapers, bedroom and hallway: Designed by Charette, created by Astek Wallcovering

· Rag rug: Target

· Hall runner: S&J Biren

· Desk, hutch and chest: Newport Cottages, enhanced by JUDY MOODY Paint Dept

· Desk chair: Pottery Barn, enhanced by JUDY MOODY Paint Dept

· Drapes: Fabric by Pindler & Pindler

· Sheers, curlicue design: F&S Fabrics

· Lamp: Omega Cinema Props

· Piggy bank: Banks, Banks, Banks

· Art: Nest, Hollywood Cinema Arts

· Posters: Universal Sign Shop

· Custom band-aids: ISS Graphics

· Custom trophy: Giraffe from Omega Cinema Props, built with other trophies at Hollywood Trophy

       · Soccer-girl picture frame: Valley Thrift


sites/setdecorators/articles/JM_5_Kitchen.jpg

Photo by Ken Haber. ©2011 All Rights Reserved. Not for duplication or resale.

Moody Kitchen 

 

 “Since the setting is in Virginia, we felt that colonial and traditional styles were the most appropriate,” describes Diers. “We were always looking for set dressing that had graphic and charming silhouettes. Sometimes it seemed like the elements were from a different era, like the refrigerator. Using these simplified iconic shapes for set dressing keeps the viewer in the fantasy of the movie. Like so many other aspects of the film, it was important to walk a fine line between real and illustrative worlds. ”

 

· Wallpaper: Designed by Charette, created by Astek Wallcovering

· Rugs: Pasadena Antique Center, Target

· Refrigerator: Save-On Appliances, enhanced by JUDY MOODY Paint Dept

· Table & chairs: CraigsList, enhanced by JUDY MOODY Paint Dept

· Chair cushions: Michael Levine, Universal Studios Upholstery

· Hutch: Pasadena Antique Center

· Salt & pepper collection, character smalls: RC Vintage, Wertz Antiques

· Kitchen elements: Omega Cinema Props

· Stairs sisal carpet: Linoleum City

 

sites/setdecorators/articles/JM_6_Aunt_0_Trunk_1.jpg

Photo by Suzanne Tenner ©2011 Judy Moody Productions. All Rights Reserved.


Aunt Opal’s Trunk 

 “Aunt Opal, a self-described ‘guerrilla artist,’ comes for the summer to take care of Judy Moody & her brother while their parents are out of town,” Diers relates. “She brings along her trunk of craft projects, lights and ideas…and her ability to bedazzle. When she shows up, magic happens…or the possibilities of magic happen, if you believe you can do it.” McDonald adds, “Aunt Opal is very artistic and a little bit outside the box...She sparkles with energy.”

 

“The actual trunk came from the Metropolitan Opera,” Diers reveals. “We spent a lot of time making it a functional crafts trunk, i.e. baby food jars filled with beads on a lazy-Susan that can pull out, a place to hang paintbrushes, drawers of fabrics, rod with rolls of ribbons.”

 

· Trunk: Nick Metropolis on La Brea - originally from Metropolitan Opera

· Brushes: Santa Monica Antique Mall

· Ribbons: Michael Levine’s

· Trim: Michal Levine’s

· Papers: Kit Kraft, Blick,  


 sites/setdecorators/articles/JM_7_Aunt_O_in_LR.jpg

Heather Graham as Aunt Opal. Photo by Suzanne Tenner ©2011 Judy Moody Productions. All Rights Reserved.

.

Aunt Opal’s art projects overtake the Living Room! 

 “They did an amazing job with the art my character Aunt Opal creates,” says actress Heather Graham. “It’s a metaphor for taking what life gives you and making it into something beautiful. Aunt Opal is a really free spirit and somewhat childlike, so she relates to Judy and wants to be a mentor.” 

 

Diers adds, “She just gets on a whirl and she’s this creative force, saying ‘Wouldn’t it be great…!’ or ‘Let’s try this!’ So that becomes part of the process of the film. The art department and set decoration department were always involved in art projects for this film—at every turn there was something to make with our hands. The handmade quality was essential—you can’t buy that at a store. Hopefully, this will inspire kids and remind them how easy it is to create something.”

 

· Drop-leaf table: Totally Furniture

· Wrought iron stand: Home Goods 

· Lamps: Lamps Plus, thrift stores, enhanced by JUDY MOODY Art Dept

· Mirror: Wertz Brothers Furniture Inc.

 

 sites/setdecorators/articles/JM_8_Aunt_O_Bigfoot.jpg

Heather Graham as Aunt Opal, Parris Mosteller as Stink, Jordanna Beatty as Judy.

Photo by Suzanne Tenner ©2011 Judy Moody Productions. All Rights Reserved.

 Aunt Opal & Stink finish the Bigfoot sculpture as Judy Moody storms back from attending a horror film.

“The most dramatic art project is Bigfoot,” states Diers. “The ‘life-sized’ sculpture overtakes the living room and gets so large that they have to move it to the front yard. Once Aunt Opal gets going, she bedazzles everything, so all the lamps have been bedazzled with broken tile, jewels and scraps of fabric, then pulled out of the house to light their project.”

 

“Because a lot of the consciousness of Judy Moody is about being green, they decide to build the sculpture out of things they have around the house…cat food cans and scraps of carpet, Band-Aids and tape, tree bark…lots of toys that Stink might have outgrown…a little baseball bat for instance, jawbreakers, pirates…baseballs for the eyes…”

 

Stink’s interest in Bigfoot spawned several set projects, including our work retro-fitting a van into a laughably amateur Bigfoot-tracking mobile lab. The Bigfoot Believers Club, located at the backroom of a pet store, was created out of tree bark and dog food bags, the entrance is through a birdcage tunnel. There’s a fish tank shrine to Bigfoot, and a hokey light-show created out of aluminum foil and parakeet mirrors in the form of a disco ball.”

 sites/setdecorators/articles/JM_9_Bigfoot_day.jpg

  Photo by Suzanne Tenner ©2011 Judy Moody Productions. All Rights Reserved.

Bigfoot & the bedazzled bench…Art projects make for a not bummer summer! 

 “A Chippendale bench that sits in the front yard has been Opalized, and now that Bigfoot is finished, the kids decide they can make money with it—‘Touch Bigfoot for 50 cents’. What I love about this movie is all those little adventures,” says Diers. “They’re not kids with super powers…they’re doing their kid thing in the neighborhood.”

 

· Chippendale bench: Overstock.com

· Chair: from Kitchen set: CraigsList

· Folding table: Kmart

· Bigfoot sculpture supplies: Jawbreakers :Jellybean Factory; Shag carpet: Linoleum City: Band-aids: ISS Graphics

 

 

 sites/setdecorators/articles/JM_10_Unzone.jpg

Photo by Ken Haber. ©2011 All Rights Reserved. Not for duplication or resale.

Thrilladelic adventure at the Abandoned Amusement Park

The FUN Zone is now the UN Zone!

“The Fun Zone was scripted as a bit of a scary abandoned amusement park, ‘Larkspur Pier—where our heroes stop for a picnic’,” Diers describes. “Cynthia's notion was that a violent hurricane had whipped through this former tourist attraction. It was to appear both fun and somewhat eerily scary. We brought in truckloads of large, odd-shaped props, windswept leafless trees, overgrown grass, rotted telephone poles, ripped and tattered banners and worn string lights.”

 

· Tea cup: 20th Century Props, Judy Moody construction and Paint Dept

· Bumper car: L.A. Circus

· Legs: L.A. Circus

· Signage: Judy Moody Construction and Paint Dept. and L.A. Circus

· Lights: Lennie Marvin’s Prop Heaven 

· Fun Zone fence: Davis Enterprises

· Fabric, tattered awnings, shredded texture: F&S Fabrics, Michael Levine's

 

 sites/setdecorators/articles/JM_11_Unzone_detail.jpg

Photo by Ken Haber. ©2011 All Rights Reserved. Not for duplication or resale.

Abandoned Amusement Park – detail

“We needed to fill out the set with Ferris wheels and rides that appeared to have been wind-whipped,” Diers emphasizes. “Instead of using the beautiful restored props at L.A. Circus, I wandered out to the back of their repair yard and found exactly what I needed. Overjoyed with my discovery, I selected the orphan rides and carnival props with peeling paint and tattered edges. I loved the sad irony of such cheerful objects in such a sad state of disrepair.”

 

· Vintage ride cars: L.A. Circus

· Lights: Lennie Marvin’s Prop Heaven 

 

 sites/setdecorators/articles/JM_12_Don_Cynthia.jpgProduction Designer Cynthia Charette, Set Decorator Don Diers SDSA

Photo by Ken Haber. ©2011 All Rights Reserved. Not for duplication or resale.

Abandoned Amusement Park

“From Cynthia's research inspiration, we re-created a large scary clown head,” recalls Diers. “Sculptor Kenny Garrett, who also made the form of our 9-foot tall Bigfoot, carved the 5-foot head, which was then painted with cheerful decay.”

 

“This film was a magical experience and one that doesn’t come often enough,” Charette attests. “We lived through the eyes of children and let our imaginations run wild. What was also so special about this project was the creative way in which we all worked together. From the Art Department, to Set Decoration, to Props, to Construction, Paint and Special Effects, we were ALL on the same page. We built craft rooms on stage where we tirelessly manufactured props and worked together to encourage creativity from everyone involved. No detail was left unnoticed and when you look at a film and see that continuity, you must give credit to the wonderful team that created it. We want to you feel like you are living IN the storybook and we hope you enjoy the adventure.”

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Diers wishes to acknowledge the entire crew, with particular shout outs to:

…Lead person Drew Williams

…Set Decoration Buyer Maike Both

…Set Dresser Chuck Coffman, lead artist and installer for the Birnbaum's Van, gaffed the Bigfoot  art project,and created the tile bench

…Prop Assistant Aimee O'Shea created key pieces: the trash can lid artwork, the periscope, and Jessica's dressing

…Art Director Valerie Green


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